New Delhi: VIPs from Qatar and France pose in front of the first Rafale to be handed over. The stylised Arab stallion graphic is the badge of the new Rafale squadron. (Photo: Dassault Aviation)
French Ambassador Alexandre Ziegler on Thursday dismissed as “fake news” reports that a batch of Pakistani pilots was trained on Rafale fighter jets being procured by Qatari Air Force.
American aviation industry website ainonline.Com reported that the first batch of pilots trained on the Rafale fighter jet for Qatar in November 2017 were Pakistani exchange officers.
“I can confirm that it is fake news,” Ziegler tweeted.
French diplomatic sources said no Pakistani pilots ever trained on Rafale jets in France.
There were concerns in the Indian military establishment after the report by the US-based website.
The report came in the midst of a simmering political slugfest over procurement of Rafale jets by the Modi government from France.
India is procuring a batch of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France at a cost of Rs 58,000 crore. The Congress has been alleging massive irregularities in the deal while the government has strongly rejected the charges.
Crime Branch questions former PDP minister Naeem Akhtar
Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir Crime Branch has questioned PDP leader Naeem Akhtar over alleged irregularities committed during his tenure as public works minister in allotment of contracts for the Jammu and Kashmir Projects Construction Corporation (JKPCC), officials said on Sunday.
The former minister has, however, denied any wrongdoing and said he has cooperated with police officials.
“I am sure that truth will prevail. I have done nothing wrong and all due processes were followed,” Akhtar told PTI in Srinagar.
The officials said Akhtar was questioned at his residence about giving out work at JKPCC to a specific set of contractors and making some appointments without following the due process.
The questioning revolved around JKPCC work, construction work at the Islamic University in south Kashmir and allotment of work for setting up the AIIMS in south Kashmir, they said.
It is alleged that the contracts were given to such people who had no experience in construction work and had floated companies barely a few days before the tendering process was initiated, the officials said.
The investigation was also into the air-conditioning work of the health department, they said.
“I have answered all the questions and clarified the matter. I am sure that the matter is sorted out. I have full faith in judiciary,” PDP leader Akhtar.
Former Delhi Chief Minister and Congress leader Sheila Dikshit dies at 81
NEW DELHI: Former Delhi Chief Minister and veteran Congress leader Sheila Dikshit died at the age of 81 on Saturday. The veteran Congress leader was not keeping well from some time and died of a prolonged illness.
Former Delhi chief minister was on Friday admitted to Fortis Escorts Heart Institute in a critical state.
Three-time Delhi chief minister from Congress, Dikshit had cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) and had to be immediately put on the ventilator, said Congress sources.
Centre appoints new Governors in 6 states, Anandiben Patel transferred to UP
New Delhi: The Centre Saturday appointed six new Governors in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Nagaland and Tripura.
MP Governor and former Chief Minister of Gujarat Anandiben Patel has been transferred as appointed the new as Governor of UP. Bihar Governor Lalji Tandon was also transferred and appointed as the Governor of Madhya Pradesh.
Senior Supreme Court advocate Jagdeep Dhankhar was appointed as the new Governor of West Bengal, replacing Keshari Nath Tripathi. BJP member Ramesh Bais has been appointed as the Governor of Tripura, replacing Kaptan Singh Solanki.
BJP MLA Phagu Chauhan has been appointed as the Governor of Bihar while RN Ravi as Governor of Nagaland, replacing Padmanabha Acharya.
“The above appointments will take effect from the dates they assume charge of their respective offices,” said a communique from the Rashtrapati Bhavan.